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Reiki Bullshit In Our Own Backyard
2004.12.14 (Tue) 00:55
Reading through a recent JREF weekly update, we were startled to see the name of a fairly local hospital, Chilton Memorial in New Jersey, apparently offering Reiki sessions. JREF reader Richard Seibel had the following to say:
Since the New Vitality Center is under the auspices of the hospital, the hospital is putting what IMHO used to be their good name behind this program and the courses that are offered. I tried to find the same level of debunking on Reiki that I was able to get on Reflexology, but for some reason there is far less. Perhaps it is so far off the wall, there is almost no legitimate research on it? So I went to the source — what Reiki claims it can do. It was worse than I had anticipated, e.g. Level 2 (out of 4) is the ability to heal from a distance. So, armed with some information, I went to the staff asking why Reiki is being offered. The staff said, "it works, it is amazing...." I asked, "Do you believe somebody waving their hands across the room can actually heal someone?" Incredibly enough, the response I got back was, "They have done it over the telephone."
Further discussion yielded that the Sports Rehab facility associated with the hospital uses Reiki and some doctors in the hospital are recommending Reiki to their patients.
Other than the references in JREF about claiming to heal remotely (including over the phone), we weren't fully up to snuff on this particular brand of bullshit, so we went off to read up on Reiki, and to understand why this hospital was peddling it. As we feared, Reiki falls squarely into the ranks of other medical quackery that we've come to know and loathe, such as homeopathy, naturopathy, and reflexology (which, sadly, is also offered at this hospital).
Here is some of the information that we found about Reiki on the website for the International Center for Reiki Training:
A Brief Overview
The knowledge that an unseen energy flows through all living things and is connected directly to the quality of health has been part of the wisdom of many cultures since ancient times. The existence of this "life force energy" has been verified by recent scientific experiments, and medical doctors are considering the role it plays in the functioning of the immune system and the healing process.
A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through you and surrounds you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit and creates many beneficial effects including relaxation and feelings of peace, security, and well-being. Many have reported miraculous results. Reiki is a simple, natural, and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use.
Damn! Once again, we are thwarted by evidence from the ever-popular "recent scientific experiments"! How can we possibly still doubt Reiki in the face of facts like these? Oddly, whenever this line is used to back up nonsensical claims, either no one is able to give any details of these experiments, or if they can provide details, it turns out the experiments were performed by like-minded purveyors of similar bullshit. Odd, that...
Is Reiki a Religion?
While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Because Reiki comes from God, many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it.
Nah, it has nothing to do with religion. It's just sent by God — that doesn't entail any religious belief, does it? I mean, lots of people who have no religious beliefs — atheists, if you will — believe in God, right? Oddly, the site uses the capital "G" God, and not something more generic. After all, this is supposed to be "Eastern Medicine" — if they are going to be specific, shouldn't they refer to some wacky Indian or Japanese god? But, since there aren't many non-Judeo-Christians in their target market, if they offend or scare off most of the locals, then there's no money in it, is there?
Our interest was also piqued by the statement that "Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not." Interesting. Most bullshit only professes to work for true believers, which provides an easy out. Whenever a skeptic claims that a method didn't work, the practitioner can just blame the patient for lack of faith. But these guys don't seem to be going that route. We may be able to use that to our advantage down the road...
Do All Healers Use Reiki?
There were two clairvoyant healers I knew who had highly developed abilities. They could easily see the life force flowing through a person's body, as well as see the aura and chakras. They could also communicate with a person's guides and Higher Self. They were adept at moving negative psychic energy out of the body as well as channeling healing energies. In my twenty years of metaphysical work, they were the most accurate and effective psychic healers I had met.
They told me later they had doubted there was anything I was teaching they couldn't already do, but that they took the Reiki training anyway, simply to support me in my new work. After the attunement, they were amazed at the difference they could feel between the healing energies they had been using and Reiki. They said the Reiki energies were more powerful and of a much higher frequency.
Wow, so it's even better and more effective at healing than regular old clairvoyance?! That's saying a lot — I guess we should go sign up! Seriously, folks — if the litany of bullshit credentials that are tacitly validated by this quote don't make you shy away from this crap, I don't know what will.
We then checked out Chilton's New Vitality Program website to see what they said about their Reiki sessions. On page fifteen of their Fall 2004 newsletter, we found the following:
Experience the healing power of Reiki. Reiki, which means spiritually guided life force energy, dates back to ancient times. The 15-minute treatment is given to the recipient with the practitioner gently placing his/her hands on specific body areas. The recipient is fully clothed and sits in a chair. By appointment only from 10 a.m. to noon Mondays at the Chilton Memorial Collins Pavilion. Fee: $10 for seniors 50 and older, $15 for the general public.
There was also a blurb about the benefits of their reflexology sessions on that page as well. Hey, at least shelling out $25 for 15 minutes of reflexology gets you a foot massage. For $10 worth of Reiki, all you get is some fuckwad "placing his/her hands on specific body areas." If that's not utter crap, then we don't know what is.
JREF reader Richard Seibel ended up largely frustrated when he questioned Chilton about their Reiki sessions, as he states in his letter on JREF:
[Chilton Memorial left it] with, "there are some people who like it and they come back — others don't. ... and people seem to want it." Of course, on my part I have no influence, so I thanked them for listening.
As far as we are concerned, "some people like it" is a pretty crappy reason for a medical institution to validate pseudo-medical bullshit, and we aim to find out just what the holy Hell Chilton is thinking. In addition, we think it's high time that someone turned the spotlight on Reiki, starting with learning exactly what certification or credentials it takes to be a Reiki Master, and exposing the whole practice for the load of crap that it really is. We'll keep you updated right here in our Rants as our research progresses.
To Be Continued...
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[ Filed under: % Bullshit ]
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